After college, after the Denver Publishing Institute, I went to the big city, where I got a job at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, which, at that time, was owned by the original Mr. Straus and Mr. Giroux.
The company sprawled across two dusty, non-contiguous floors in a building on Union Square in which Jean Paul Gauthier occupied the penthouse. I once rode the elevator with both Gauthier and Grace Jones. She is taller than humanly possible, and more stunning.
I digress, but who can blame me?
The point I am circling is that I worked in publishing for a few years. Fast forward: FSG is now owned by Macmillan publishers. E-books and audiobooks outsell printed books. Plus there's a little thing called AI rising like the sun in the west.
So I no longer know diddly about modern publishing.
Lucky for me, the new business model of self-publishing is based on getting rid of gate-keepers.
Instead of courting an agent or a publisher (pick me! pick me! Like being back in first grade, knowing the answer and NOT getting picked.), you do it yourself or pay up front to have it done.
There's a certain joyful honesty in writing a check and getting what you want.
And there's also a surprising camaraderie among writers. I might make the parallel of school kids in bitter rivalry for attention from the teacher versus the boisterous play of unsupervised kids on recess. (P.S. Yes, Lord of the Flies. But did you know that novel parallels an actual event that, as it happened, turned out great?)
In the new publishing world, everyone is climbing the same mountain, and most understand that there's room up top. After all, readers gotta read, emma right?
Hence, the help from away.
Christopher Minori is a horror writer who lives in Central America. We kevinbacon by way of a sailing pal, Paul Leonard.
It is SO a verb.
Christopher has a series of comical horror novels involving a banished demon, and he kindly shared insights and lessons about how he was making modern publishing work.
Christopher sells some physical books in local book stores, comicons, hair salons –– wherever, he suggests, people read.
The bulk of his readers get their fix electronically through Kindle, which is Amazon's almighty e-book arm.
He told me about his PR/marketing strategies, which revolve around Twitter (he has thousands of followers who get the word out) as well as showing up for podcasts and guest blogs.
And, btw, he has a new book coming in July. I'll link it HERE when it's available. Meanwhile, if you like Supernatural and/or Terry Pratchett: Christopher Minori.
My strategies diverge somewhat different (I prefer Instagram, NetGalley for reviews, etc.). Plus, this first novel is NOT part of a series, which makes marketing it quite a bit more of an uphill slog.
Still, here I am, relearning some diddly.
File Under Should Have Known That:
"Diddly-squat" probably comes to us by way of "doodle" or "doody," that childish synonym for excrement. Poor Bo.